Game 43: Rays Sweep the O’s as Matt Moore Wins His 8th Game of the Season

By Dereck Violante

Matt Moore wins his 8th game of the season as the Rays sweep in a visit to Camden Yard for a 3-1 victory.

Matt Moore, dominant once again, goes seven strong innings to help complete the sweep in Baltimore improving to 8-0 on the season.  Not striking out as many as usual, only fanning 3 while walking just 1, yet still effective while on surrendering 5 hits and 1 run throwing just 106 pitches and letting his fielders do the work for him.

The scoring began in the top of the third as the Rays struck first with some clutch 2 out hits.  After 2 outs Yunel Escobar managed to draw a 2 out walk off Orioles starter Chris TillmanDesmond Jennings, coming into the game with a four game hit streak,  quickly fell behind 0-2 but battled back to a full count.  Jennings’ battle at the plate paid off with Escobar was running on the pitch, Jennings laced a double down the left field line, scoring Escobar and giving the Rays a 1-0 lead.

During the bottom half of the frame Moore got himself into trouble as DH Danny Valencia crushed a lead-off double to left center field.  Yamaico Navarro then dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Valencia to third.  With a man on third and 1 out Moore was able to get out of the inning unscathed, getting Chris Snyder and Nick Markakis on consecutive ground outs.

The Orioles tied the game at 1 apiece in the bottom of the fourth on the heels of a lead-off triple by the red-hot Manny Machado with a misplayed ball in the outfield by Matt Joyce & Desmond Jennings.  A fly ball between them that no one called and fell out of the glove of Joyce and rolling to the wall allowing Machado to take third.  Adam Jones then laced a single past an extended Escobar for the RBI.  Adam Jones then managed to steal 2nd & 3rd as Moore failed to pay attention to the runner with the Orioles perhaps taking advantage of Jose Molina sitting today with Jose Lobaton behind the plate for the day.  Luckily Moore got out of the jam with consecutive fly ball outs.

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the 5th on a solo blast by former Oriole Luke Scott, his 3rd of the season.  During the 6th inning Tampa Bay caught a break on a solo blast by Matt Joyce, his 8th of the year, on a reviewable call by the umpires as it looked like the ball may have been either foul or a double at worst.  A strange area the ball struck, according to the announcers, should have been called a double.  The Rays took a 3-1 lead at that point.

Joel Peralta & Fernando Rodney both managed a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th & 9th to shut down the Orioles.

Evan Longoria, managing just a 1-4 performance, extended his now career high hit streak to 13 games.

Up next for the 23-20 Rays is a 3 game series with the Toronto Blue Jays beginning Monday at 1:07 in the Rogers Centre as top prospect Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the mound for his first start of the season against last year’s NL Cy Young award winner RA Dickey (3-5, 4.83 ERA).